Batman: Arkham: Killer Croc omits key Detective Comics #526 issue

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Friday, July 01, 2016

A couple people have emailed me with a question and/or complaint about the new Batman: Arkham: Killer Croc collection, and you can see similar discussion beginning to build at the online retailers, too. It seems the book collects the first three parts of Croc's four-part first "major" appearance, but omits that fourth part.

Killer Croc had shadowed appearances in Gerry Conway's 1980s Detective Comics #523 and Batman #357, but hist first "named" appearance is in Batman #358. That's a four-part story, Batman #358 and 359 with Detective Comics #525 and #526, but Detective #526 isn't included in the book. It's definitely "part four"; Batman #359 ends with "to be concluded ... in Detective #526" (the trade even includes this language). All of this is also the story, by the way, where the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths (blond) Jason Todd becomes Robin, with Detective #526 being the one where he puts on a Robin costume.

So why isn't the issue included in Batman: Arkham: Killer Croc? Well, it is an extra-sized issue (marking Batman's 500th appearance), so maybe the size has something to do with it. I don't know if it's a matter of not wanting to include an extra artist in the trade, though the issue is still written by Conway. There are plenty of villains in that particular issue who are not Croc, but then again Croc does also figure heavily in the story.

I do note that neither the solicitation for the book nor the book itself says that it includes Detective #526 -- that doesn't make the reading experience better, I understand, but it doesn't look like an instance of a misprint necessarily (the issue wasn't promised to be delivered). At the same time, the omission does give me pause about picking up the book -- I have tended to avoid those dedicated writer/artist collections because they skip around issues, and for me this would kind of be the same thing. The issue is in Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told Vol. 2, though I don't think readers were expecting to have to pick up an additional book.

Did you snag this collection? How does this news make you feel about it?
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  1. This is why we need "Epic Collections" of non-crossover Batman NOW. These writer, artist, and character-based collections are fine, but Jesus Christ. Just give us a complete unbroken story for once, DC! The amount of late 40s-early 60s, 70s and 80s Batman that has gone uncollected is staggering.

  2. I...don't mind it not being there. These collections, for me, are really like most character focus books where you get just some of the best (or most hightlighted) stories. I didn't mind Btmn #526 not here becuse of those reasons. I just like the flow of the progression of Croc s the stories went long.

    1. Fair enough. I was saying on the Facebook page that in looking into this volume, I learned a lot about Croc I didn't know, like his role in the pre-Crisis Jason Todd's origin. I wish that issue was in there, but this collection has caught my interest.

  3. I own Detective #526 (but not parts 1-3 of the story), but I still found it odd and a bit annoying that it wasn't included in the collection. I found myself wondering "What were they thinking?"

  4. Is it possible that the reason it wasn't collected is because of the pre-Crisis Jason Todd origin than because of the length of the anniversary issue? Look at all of the post-Crisis Jason Todd/Red Hood material that has been published. Perhaps DC thought to avoid the inevitable "Huh? That's not how Jason Todd was introduced" comments, though in all likelihood most Batman readers know there was a pre-Crisis Jason Todd whose origin was similar to Dick Grayson.